Seen through the Trees - Edit1
#1
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[Image: https://i.imgur.com/5R11Ac1.jpg]

Seen through the Trees


Edit 1

Do you, love, see those buildings through the trees,
white walls, brown-sepia verandas, tall
black windows, some with arches, by degrees
bone-white or lightly shadowed overall?
How strange to see them looming bright on dark
just past the crest of wooded winter hills,
between tall pines, brown dead-leafed boughs, black bark,
beneath a sky pale January fills.
It’s all illusion:  regularly spaced
tree trunks form windows, curving limbs each arch,
floor-levels limned by branches, all enlaced
on canvas clouds make dream-skyscrapers march.
    We see not what we see; instead we build,
    beloved, visions not seen, only willed.

Original version;


Do you, love, see those buildings through the trees,
White walls, brown-sepia verandas, tall
Black windows, some with arches, by degrees
Bone-white or lightly shadowed overall?
How odd, to see a shining office park
Just past the crest of wooded, winter hills,
Between tall pines, brown dead-leafed boughs, black bark,
Beneath a sky pale January fills.
It’s all illusion:  regularly spaced
Tree trunks form windows, curving limbs each arch,
Floor-levels limned by branches, all enlaced
On canvas clouds make dream-skyscrapers march.
    We see not what we see; instead we build,
    Beloved, visions not seen, only willed.


Cropped but unretouched photo.
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#2
Oh, I love this. The first line caught me as I grew up with that image from all angles. The volta is a true turn (I was seeing the buildings) and the couplet manages to rise above that cutesy feel I always have trouble avoiding in my own work. The rhyme worked perfectly for me except for one instance noted below, just what I want in a sonnet, an underlying structure that lets the poem rise above it.

I have to say that while line capitalizing is not my preference I am usually able to concede to a knowledgeable poet's choice, but in this case it bothered me, I believe because I enjoyed the well done enjambment and the out of place capitals made the transitions rougher for me.

Some notes:

(02-26-2016, 11:25 AM)dukealien Wrote:  [Image: http://www.hostthenpost.org/uploads/86f9...da7870.jpg]
            
                       Seen through the Trees


Do you, love, see those buildings through the trees, I love the intimate tone here.
White walls, brown-sepia verandas, tall Successful enjambment, yay.
Black windows, some with arches, by degrees again, love degrees with arches and color.
Bone-white or lightly shadowed overall?
How odd, to see a shining office park A bit of a jolt, I hadn't seen it as an office park, seems forced for me.
Just past the crest of wooded, winter hills, I like both wooden and winter, I don't think you need the comma between.
Between tall pines, brown dead-leafed boughs, black bark, Natural sounding alliteration, nice.
Beneath a sky pale January fills. Love this line.
It’s all illusion:  regularly spaced What?! Smile
Tree trunks form windows, curving limbs each arch,
Floor-levels limned by branches, all enlaced
On canvas clouds make dream-skyscrapers march. Beautiful.
    We see not what we see; instead we build,
    Beloved, visions not seen, only willed. A little over-comma-ed but I don't see a way around that right now, lovely couplet, and a reminder of the opening intimacy, a gentle gift.


Cropped but unretouched photo.

Thanks for posting this, my favorite poem in a while.
billy wrote:welcome to the site. make it your own, wear it like a well loved slipper and wear it out. ella pleads:please click forum titles for posting guidelines, important threads. New poet? Try Poetic DevicesandWard's Tips

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#3
Hi duke - I see that you have started using enjambment now and then in your poems, which is great. Your poems are particularly strict in metrical count, but a little leeway there will make them sound more natural and powerful - just my 2 cents.
Some observations in red below

(02-26-2016, 11:25 AM)dukealien Wrote:  [Image: http://www.hostthenpost.org/uploads/86f9...da7870.jpg]
            
                       Seen through the Trees


Do you, love, see those buildings through the trees, .... do you really need the 'love'? it feels like a filler syllable. The abruptness of the commas and the 'love', detract from the opening line. You'd need a two-syllabled synonym for 'see' for the meter - could use observe / behold etc. Not sure why this poem should be addressed to a 'love'.
White walls, brown-sepia verandas, tall 
Black windows, some with arches, by degrees
Bone-white or lightly shadowed overall? .... really like the enjambment all through, but 'lightly shadowed overall' sounds like a weak attempt to fir the meter. Either use enjambment again here, or make the whole line about 'bone white'
How odd, to see a shining office park .... 'how odd, to see' isn't particularly nice
Between tall pines, brown dead-leafed boughs, black bark, ... underlined: nice
Beneath a sky pale January fills.
It’s all illusion:  regularly spaced
Tree trunks form windows, curving limbs each arch,
Floor-levels limned by branches, all enlaced ... underlined: nice
On canvas clouds make dream-skyscrapers march.
    We see not what we see; instead we build,
    Beloved, visions not seen, only willed.


Cropped but unretouched photo.
~ I think I just quoted myself - Achebe
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#4
(02-26-2016, 11:25 AM)dukealien Wrote:  [Image: http://www.hostthenpost.org/uploads/86f9...da7870.jpg]
            
                       Seen through the Trees


Do you, love, see those buildings through the trees, ("Do you not see" would be more natural, I stumbled badly over "love"—don't we all—I almost quit the poem there and would have if it weren't in a forum. Sorry ella)
White walls, brown-se-pi-a ve-ran-das, tall (OK)
Black windows, some with arches, by degrees
Bone-white or lightly shadowed overall?
How odd, to see a shining office park
Just past the crest of wooded, winter hills,
Between tall pines, brown dead-leafed boughs, black bark,
Beneath a sky pale January fills.
It’s all illusion:  regularly spaced (A difficult line for me, although technically correct)
Tree trunks form windows, curving limbs each arch,
Floor-levels limned by branches, all enlaced
On canvas clouds make dream-skyscrapers march.
    We see not what we see; instead we build,
    Beloved, visions not seen, only willed. (Of course the three syllable beloved, I should have expected it. Tongue )

Paul,

I have to agree with ellamyfella on the capping the start of every line, it made the piece unnecessarily difficult to read, especially with several four line sentences and the wealth of commas. The best thing one can say about the use of enjambment is that they didn't noticed it and I didn't the first time through. Personally, I think enjambment is more a solution to a problem, rather than a true trope and should be used sparingly. More times than not it comes across as unnatural, obvious and as though the person is meaning to say, look at how clever I am. Of course alliteration can be misused in a similar fashion. You pass with flying colors in both cases here, so don't break your arm. The first line put me in a bad mood and the use of "Beloved" in the last has kept me there.  Hysterical  What is this come kind of Modern romance novel. "Love" and "Beloved" in the same poem, I might hurl. Why is it that when people write sonnets they have to pepper them with these love poem cliche words. You have a perfectly decent poem about perspective and observation, which have nothing whatsoever to do with romance, yet you feel the need to awkwardly interject it into this otherwise solid sonnet (ha! There's some obvious alliteration!). So can we drop the "lovey" book ends and let the poem be a poem? I think we should, but it is your poem. I will still respect you in the morning.  Tongue

dale
How long after picking up the brush, the first masterpiece?

The goal is not to obfuscate that which is clear, but make clear that which isn't.
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#5
Hearty thanks to the critics thus far.  Notes to each, followed by Edit1.

@ellajam - Usually I don't try to defend my choice of capitalized lines for poems in forms (chalk it up to ingrained conservatism or something) but in this case the whole affair - picture that makes the poem effectively served up with the morning bagel, no particular inspiration required - conduces to humility.  So in Edit1, sentence-only capitalization.

The line which jarred is also changed - "forced" is exactly right, the problem was forcing my *particular* vision on the reader (not really an office park, more like a generic Courtyard by Marriott™ motel) who should be encouraged to hold whatever architecture the photo-illusion has conjured up for that reader.  Replacement in Edit1 may be a little weak, and not the final one.

@achebe - Good eye/ear on L1.  "[L]ove" was initially a filler to replace a worse one ("too"), but (as love often does) changed everything on that revision, culminating in "beloved" on L14.  As I see it, the sonnet now implies a story - perhaps even a bittersweet one, else why speak of illusions? - instead of presenting a simple fata morgana.  (Or cultural - I suspect readers whose cultures don't include rectilinear architecture won't see it.)  It is choppy, but I hesitate to change it given the highly favorable response elsewhere.  In hopes it can be improved without losing that effect,  a few candidates to replace L1:

Do you, my love, see buildings through the trees?
Can you, my love, see buildings through the trees?
Do you see buildings there, love, through the trees?

@Erthona - In addition to seconding the desire for minimized capitalization (done), thanks for providing a marvelous example of divergent effects on different readers:  one (pardon the expression) turned on, the other turned off by the same initial line and couplet.  The romantic aspect is  a bit outside my comfort zone (my sonnets tend to be philosophical and technical) even if it's well inside your discomfort zone for humdrum sonnets.  Please allow me my little flutter - I'll get back to learning free verse again in due course, all duly uncapitalized and unpunctuated as custom demands Wink  .

Edit 1

Do you, love, see those buildings through the trees,
white walls, brown-sepia verandas, tall
black windows, some with arches, by degrees
bone-white or lightly shadowed overall?
How strange to see them looming bright on dark
just past the crest of wooded winter hills,
between tall pines, brown dead-leafed boughs, black bark,
beneath a sky pale January fills.
It’s all illusion:  regularly spaced
tree trunks form windows, curving limbs each arch,
floor-levels limned by branches, all enlaced
on canvas clouds make dream-skyscrapers march.
    We see not what we see; instead we build,
    beloved, visions not seen, only willed.
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